Letters to the editor
It seems I have inherited the position of "official SCR disagreer." It's a dirty job but I feel somehow strangely compelled to do it. I just read your editorial (my favorite part of SCR) and as usual, I disagree. Some of your arguments, while otherwise insightful and intelligent, are faulty - primarily, in my opinion, because they're based on faulty premises to start with. Let's take the first one. We did not lose the war in Vietnam. I wasn't there myself, dear Editor, but neither were you. As a veteran and military writer, however, I do have many friends who were and they would tend to disagree with you, and rather strongly. As far as the world not going communist in the aftermath of whatever happened over thirty years ago, I'd say there are a couple of million Asians who might also disagree with you, except for the fact that they're now dead due to those communists who never happened.
“Vietnam changed everything. It was a senseless bloodbath, saving the world from Communism again and – now hear this and let it sink in – the United States lost that war and the Vietnamese won it and the world is not communist! One must emphasize that, because many Americans don’t realize it or don’t want to hear it”. - Frank Thomas Smith
The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America's commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism. - Speech by General William C. Westmoreland before the Third Annual Reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) at the Washington, DC Hilton Hotel on July 5th, 1986 (reproduced in a Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Historical Reference Directory Volume 2A)
(My ship, the USS Henry B. Wilson, shelling Khmer Rouge positions on Koh Tang Island, 1975. In one of life's odd little coincidences, while I was in high school at the time, one of my present-day best buds was on the beach doing lunch with the Cambodians. He's not voting for Obama, as far as I know.)
New York City
That essay was really great. I don’t get to vote being North of the border, but Obama seems so much better that the nincompoops that are currently running for election here in Canada. Still, its going top be an enormous job for him to reverse the mess that Bush leaves behind.
Thank you Frank. My sentiments entirely and clearly expressed.
One nit to pick…
I enjoyed your Editor’s Page, “Why Americans Should Vote for Barack Obama.” However, in the third paragraph from the end, I suspect the phrase you intended is “pistol packin’ mama” rather than “piston packin’ mama.” Then, again, her husband is a champion snowmobile racer, so I may be wrong.
You’re right. [Ed.]
Sadly, Frank Thomas Smith has little or no idea what he's talking about.
And I'm not a conservative, "patriot", right-wing religious nut, as one might guess based on my lead sentence. I'm an atheist, moderate. Certainly, you're right about Vietnam. I fought in Vietnam and couldn't agree with you more about what a horror and mess it was. It was a mess though because of the foolishness, and pride, of people like Nixon, Johnson and people surrounding them. I have never forgiven those men and my country for the mess they got me, and others, into in Vietnam.
But, I'm convinced that the enemy we're facing this time around is entirely different and much more dangerous than the SE Asian, communist idiots we faced in Vietnam. Obama doesn't have a clue about what's happening. Read Walid Phares, "The War of Ideas", to get a handle on what we're facing and how it is much more serious/dangerous than what Nixon and Johnson thought they were fighting. This is the most important issue our country faces. The rest of it is academic if we don't get this one right.
Over the next decade, at least, we're going to need a leader who is tough as hell. The only thing these Islamist thugs understand is "I'm tougher than you and you do as I say". Obama is not the one. The Iranians and the Arabs will chew him up and spit him out like so much pudding.
Your name means nothing to me, in fact you are not important for anyone to want to know. You are a twisted mindless scoundrel just like your article, and, because of it------YES!! I shall, and will vote with all my heart and intelligence for MCCAIN/PALIN team. Way to go McCain/ Palin!!!!!
I read the article. It's great. I agree with everything you said. This is the beginning of a new world. I don't know anything about you or your plans but judging from your web site you are a great contribution to humanity's freedom.
Keep up the good work.
Very good! I too hope they will wake up!
Villa General Belgrano,
Thanks for this. It's an outstanding summary of where the US is right now and where it needs to go. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the next month!
I was shocked to read your editorial comment:
"This essay originally appeared in the October 13th issue of The New Yorker. By reprinting it here we may be technically in copyright violation. However.....
So we don't think the editors of The New Yorker will really mind."
SO, why did you not ask the New Yorker for permission??? You could have stated your case (non profit, etc.) to them, just as you did to your readers. If not given permission, you could still refer your readers to the article, which they cold find in the public library if so inclined.
You shock too easily. To ask permission from any mainstream (big) publication, they tell you how much it costs with a form letter. And once you ask and they say no unless you pay for it, you're sunk. Furthermore, this essay was already on the web; I didn't span it from their magazine, and I really think it's a public service to reproduce it in a special issue rather than a reference or a link to a url, which people usually ignore. Also, it helps rather than in any way damages or steals from them. This is an endorsement for a presidential candidate, not a movie review. Btw, check out google - it's all over the place, including at www.barackobama.com.
Re: The Mother of All Paradoxes - The American Social System, by Gaither Stewart
Capitalism is a shell game. And yet the U.S. imports millions of people onto this land each year. They come because they want a better way of life. They come because they believe the untruth that most Americans are rich, and so they too want to become rich Americans. They come because they are determined to become successful and they know that if given a fair chance and able to use their God-given talents that they will succeed. They cannot fail. They are preordained. It could never be they who would one day live in a cardboard box and take their meals from a trash container. It is this set of untruths that feeds on itself; just find the pea under one of the three cups, and you are a winner, we are all of us winners!
What our citizens and our immigrants cannot understand is that Capitalism as an economic and social system can only work when there are new frontiers to discover. Expansions of natural resources or business opportunities are requirements of a healthy capitalistic society. However America has completed her Manifest Destiny and the Oligarchy that controls capital and therefore controls the laws has stifled any attempt at sharing the few remaining opportunities for real growth. As a result over 40% of all capital is controlled by 1% of the population, and about 90% of capital is controlled by only 10% of the people.
But do not look for a political awakening of the masses. Americans will never embrace any form of socialism. The “Red Menace” of the 1st half of the 20th century is steeped in the annals of American textbooks, and villains like Lennon and Eugene Debs and Trotsky and Sacco and Vanzetti they are the bogeymen, which Ivy League graduates and proletarians, warn the children about.
I myself have waited a lifetime for my countrymen to stand up and be counted, but alas, the dream remains unfulfilled and the pipedream of unfretted success becomes the Holy Grail of ‘irrational exuberance.’ (Alan Greenspan)
This article is timely and of course begs the question "what is wrong with America?" Slowly, almost timidly, people are beginning to leave the smelly hole of denial and political correctness and venture toward the shovel that will "out" capitalist America. My husband died in 1988 in a backwater town in Colorado just because we lacked health insurance. He was refused care in an emergency. With two little sons, you can imagine the toll his death took in my life on varied levels. One of the most difficult traumas to overcome was my naive belief system that thought America would never allow one of her own to perish based on the patient's inability to pay for medical services. But America did allow it. I lived it. Thank you Mr. Stewart for stating the obvious about the elephant in the room.
America is a corporate entity and through American laws is recognized as a "legal person." See the video that took the Sundance Award recently entitled "The Corporation."
I wish I could move past the truth that America is a socio and psychopathic entity. I would love to expatriate but am only an English teacher with limited skills at 51 years of age. There are more and more days I desire whole-heartedly to take the lead as a revolutionary and shout from a soapbox all the truths about our country. What sins am I complicit in as I delay each day of revolution? Can I any longer worry about the idea of sin when I see sin rewarding those of the oligarchy? How could I reach them? Diffuse them?
Those of us who tacitly mourn our condition in the state of America are Afterlife witnesses who may be called to accountability. I work in my classroom to create change, to teach critical thinking, to call my students to truth and compassion. Perhaps the classroom will one day soon be monitored more closely for anti-oligarchy thinking and speech. Perhaps, antithetically, our immigrants will not flinch in the face of oppression and opposition. Are we at war within our own nation? Yes. Was there ever an American dream? No. Dreams were distractions and prideful illusions designed by spin masters and propaganda. America is a homonym for British colonization and all of its values. It is the reclaimed bastard of England that has grown into a wealthy brat and now suckles imperialism in any language that begs for its milk.
Has anyone envisioned the death of this great whore? What a soothing tragedy it is to watch from within the beast itself.
Re: Anthroposophical and Transpersonal Worldviews
I am deeply grateful to Robert [McDermott]for so clearly and with, just below the surface, such heart expressing what I live every day. As an anthroposophist and Waldorf teacher every day I try to open myself to the help that Christ, the dead, and all the spiritual world can offer my efforts to lead children to their own destiny. I also try to develop my own strength and insight so as to be more worthy of my task. I so appreciate Robert's effort to make clear where he, and I stand, as part of his effort to reach, to take hands with all of striving humanity.
Thank you Robert for writing and thank you Frank for publishing.
Dear Frank,Re: Anthroposophical Guidelines IV
Thank you Soooo much for your e-mag. I anticipate its offerings with delight each time it appears in my email .
Just one question -the Steiner article that is one of the Michael Letters. Anthroposophical Guidelines ,The Cosmic Thoughts in Michael's Activity and in Ahriman's We studied it last year at Dornach at the Michael Conference. Could you please give the GA and date so I can quote it for something I am writing.
Many thanks and appreciation,
Anthropsophical Guidelines is GA 26 in German: Title: "Anthroposophische Leitsätze" - originally published in "Das Goetheanum" from 17/2/1924 through 12/4/25. What's appearing in SCR is my translation - in process. Another English translation is titled: Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts". [Ed.]
I enjoy receiving Southern Cross Review, and I have noticed that the last several issues have paintings of nude women on the cover. Why not have some paintings of nude men on the cover?
We get our artistic nudes from the web. If you check out "nude men" in Google, you'll find mostly porn. Besides, I prefer and love women.